Anthropologist & Educationist
of the Himalayas and Tibet

About Me

I first visited the Himalayas in 2009 while a study abroad student in northern India.  I was captivated by the region and determined to return.  In 2012, I was awarded a Fulbright grant to research Tibetan religion and culture in Himachal Pradesh, India.  During this time, I met several Tibetan religious scholars who provided me invaluable insight into Tibetan and Himalayan philosophy and culture and under whose guidance I studied continuously for the subsequent three years. 


Recognizing the profound Tibetan systems of erudition are at risk due to changing social and historical circumstances, in 2015, I enrolled in the International Educational Development Program of the University of Pennsylvania, where I focused on indigenous education and language revitalization in the Himalayas and Tibet.  I have conducted anthropological research and educational development work in the high Himalayan regions of India and Nepal as well as in the eastern Tibetan region of Kham.  In my work, I strive to continue learning from the cultures of Tibet and the Himalayas while also working with local communities to perpetuate and revitalize indigenous languages and traditional systems of education.  My work seeks to bridge the ancient with the modern and the academic with the applied. I welcome any opportunity to learn and collaborate with others engaged in similar projects.


August 2017 and Ongoing

Bhoti Ethical Education Textbook Project

Leh, Ladakh

  • Directing an experienced group of Bhoti (literary Tibetan) textbook authors to produce a culturally relevant, ethical education textbook for Ladakhi youth (aged 10-12)

  • Collaborating with leading figures in Ladakhi education from Buddhist, Muslim and Christian communities

  • Please find more information under "Current Project" and "Blog"

May-July 2017


Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Liaised between UNESCO and the Government of Nepal Language Commission, working to promote the 123 mother tongues of the country

  • Coordinated with USAID, UNESCO and the Government of Nepal to support a conference promoting education in the newly federalizing nation

September-October 2016

Penn Global Internship Award

Kham (eastern Tibet), PRC

  • Provided teacher training in culturally appropriate pedagogy in Tibetan language to a monastic principal in rural, nomadic Tibet

  • Bilingual (English and Tibetan) instruction to class of 20 monastic students concerning cross-cultural communication and language revitalization

June-September 2016

Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI)

Ladakh, India

  • Extensive research in private, public and monastic schools throughout Ladakh to understand state of Ladakhi language and cultural education

  • Worked closely with teachers, education specialists and curriculum writers to understand the challenges facing Ladakhi education and plan appropriate responses

January-May 2015

Program Coordinator and Teaching Assistant

Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Prepared syllabuses, curriculum, and logistics for leading experiential education Tibetan & Himalayan studies program, based in Kathmandu and Mustang, Nepal and northern India

  • Interlocutor and translator between American students and Tibetan and Himalayan research collaborators

August 2012-July 2013

Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow

Varanasi & Dharamsala, India

  • In-depth research of the institutions, rituals and philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism and their relation to contemporary Tibetan society in exile

  • Researched Tibetan educational systems in South Asia, both monastic and yogic schooling and the modern secular educational system



July 2017

University of Pennsylvania

Master's (M.S.Ed.) in International Educational Development


May 2010

University of North Carolina

B.A. Cultural Studies; B.A. English & Comparative Literature

Magna Cum Laude and Highest Honors


Fellowships & Awards

Ashoka Grant 

Khyentse Foundation
August-November 2017

Phillips Ambassador Alumni Grant

University of North Carolina

August-November 2017

Penn Global Summer Internship Award

University of Pennsylvania

September-October 2016


Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) Research Fellowship

University of Pennsylvania

June-October 2016

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

University of Pennsylvania

August 2015-July 2016

American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Fellowship

Tibetan Language Summer Study Program

June-August 2013

Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowship

Sarnath and Dharamsala, India

August 2012-June 2013

Princeton in Asia Fellowship

Chiang Mai, Thailand

May 2010-April 2011

Phillips Ambassador Scholarship

University of North Carolina

January-May 2009

Contact Me

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Tel: 336.816.8737

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